so i'm starting my first aquarium. my parent's have limited me to 10gal. my intended inhabitants are:
a pair of powder blue dwarf gourami's,
four lyre tail guppies,
and a white mystery snail.
(that's not set in stone yet, so if you have any suggestions on what i should or shouldn't keep, i'd be glad to hear them.)
being the kind of person i am i can't make anything simple, so i've got a really adorable (and complicated) lil plan for how i'd like to plant it. my theme is the kids book The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein.
here's what i hope it will look like:
(please excuse my horrible scientifically inaccurate little doodle and blatant misuse of photoshop brushes.)
i'm not set on those plants either so if you can think of anything that would work better let me know! though i don't really want anything to cover the back, 'cause i'm going to make a orig illustration and get a laminated print to tape to the back. sounds cool huh?
i'm also thinking about Whorled Pennywort (it's just so cute!) but i think i may be hard to grow. :/
so here's what i really need advice wise, if some kind person is willing to give it. o_~
firstly (and probably most importantly) does anyone know any books i should read on planted aquariums? i've already read The Simple Guide To Freshwater Aquariums
by David E. Boruchowitz, cover to cover. and while it had a lot of good info on fish/cycling/water quality/filters/etc. i'm still in the dark about aquatic plants...
what should i use as substrate?
do i need to fertilize? in my veggie gardens i always used rabbit poop, but i don't think that would work too well in a aquarium... XD
what considerations do i need to make for my (very very
) hard water?
what lighting should i get? i think i'll need pretty high light for the plants i picked so far, and also so the light will penetrate my lil faux tree to the plants below...
is co2 really necessary? if so, what kind should i get that's inexpensive? (i'd rather splurge on a nicer filter than have co2... maybe i could do without co2 for now and save for one later?)
please don't feel overwhelmed by my giant list of n00b questions!! if you only want answer one or two that's totally fine!
-thanks in advance!
Chartruse Boots (aka: Rachel)